Michigan Saves, a nonprofit green bank that stimulates and supports investment in energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures in Michigan’s homes, businesses and public buildings, has just financed more than one megawatt (MW) of solar power, which will provide enough electricity to power 200 homes for one year. Michigan Saves achieved this milestone by financing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at 132 homes and nine businesses.
Michigan Saves was established in 2009 with grant funding from the Michigan Public Service Commission and a vision to break down barriers preventing homeowners and business owners from implementing energy-efficiency and renewable energy work. Michigan Saves booked its first loan for a solar PV system in June 2011.
“Over the last six years, homeowners and business owners have invested over $3.5 million in solar power to reap its benefits and take advantage of falling costs,” says Mary Templeton, executive director of Michigan Saves.
The cost of solar power has dropped significantly in the last few years. Michigan Saves’ first solar PV customer paid $6.05 per watt in June 2011. Earlier this year, a Grass Lake homeowner installed a ground-mount solar PV system that pushed Michigan Saves over the one MW threshold; that homeowner paid just $3.06 per watt.
“It’s kind of wild to think about, but doing a solar job is half the cost it used it be. There’s never been a better time to invest,” says Ken Zebarah of Harvest Energy Solutions, who installed the threshold breaking system. “The Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program has a low interest rate and long loan term, and that allowed my customer to install a ground-mount, 10-kilowatt solar PV system, which will offset nearly all the home’s annual energy use.”
“Michigan Saves is thrilled that we could help this customer achieve a degree of energy independence,” says Templeton. “Every day, Michigan families and businesses make a difference by choosing to become more environmentally sustainable by implementing energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements.”
Michigan Saves maintains a network of nearly 500 authorized contractors and nine authorized lenders who promote Michigan Saves financing to residential and commercial customers, covering the entire state. Since 2010, Michigan Saves has financed energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in nearly 8,500 homes, businesses and public buildings.
Source: Michigan Saves